Worship is very near and dear to my heart. I started singing in church choirs at the age of thirteen. By nineteen I had my own team and ministry and began leading worship.
At the core of who I am is worship.
I have spent hundreds of hours at my piano just writing and singing to my Father. I have directed teams. I have led hundreds of people in worship. I have seen miracles at the altar of worship. I have seen families and lives restored through worship. I have seen addictions fall off and replaced with garments of praise.
But worship isn’t about a ministry. It isn’t about a calling. It isn’t about the latest “worship fad”, or the coolest new way to arrange a song. It isn’t about the albums or the “superstars” on the stage. It isn’t about your gift. Worship isn’t about your Pastor, your congregation, or your talent.
Worship is about Jesus. Period.
If you cannot worship alone in your bathroom or in your prayer closet, then you have no business leading the multitudes on Sunday morning.
Worship is about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Author Judson Cornwall, an authority on Praise and Worship, said, “worship is love responding to love.”
I adore that.
It is God’s love responding to my love for Him and His love for me becoming more evident.
Worship is love responding to love.
Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”’
In worship, our God consumes anything that isn’t Him. He consumes our fear, our doubt, our pain, our grief . . . and replaces them with HIM.
I remember a few years ago, the Apostle of our church died. Pastor Kelly Varner was a scribe and an authority in the Kingdom of God and he suddenly passed away in the early hours of a Sunday morning and I was called on to lead worship that Sunday morning to a congregation who was grieving at the sudden passing of their spiritual father.
“Jesus, how can I possibly do this? I don’t want to worship right now . . . never mind lead the people! I want to sit in my room and cry at the passing of my friend.” And the Lord said to me, “This isn’t about you. This is about me. Your worship isn’t about your feelings, or your needs. It is about me. Worship me today, and I will lift the grief.”
I led worship that Sunday morning to a grieving congregation and as we lifted our voices in unison . . . “How great is our God . . . “ I watched grief melt away. Of course, our hearts were saddened at the lose of our spiritual father . . . but our God was glorified as we remembered the legacy of the man instead of focusing on the pain of losing him.
I worshipped through the pain of losing two babies to miscarriages.
I worshipped the night I got held at gunpoint.
I worshipped after an eight hour long surgery to repair my body after a car accident.
I’ve worshipped in hospital beds, and in doctors offices.
I’ve worshipped on church platforms, and my theater’s stage.
I’ve worshipped in my shower and in my car.
I’ve worshipped through pain, through fear, through sadness, and depression.
I worshipped when my son was born and when my Pastor died.
I’ve worshipped in the darkest of nights and in the brightest of days.
I’ve worshipped when I didn’t feel like it, and when my heart was bursting with praise.
I’ve worshipped when my body was gripped with pain, and I’ve worshipped through dance.
I’ve worshipped through financial ruin and I’ve worshipped in seasons of plenty.
I’ve worshipped in a wheel chair and I’ve worshipped standing and proclaiming, “HOW GREAT is our GOD!”
And in EVERY SINGLE SITUATION . . . every time I sang to the audience of ONE . . . my heart was changed and I not only fell more in love with Jesus, I became more like Him as well.
I will be writing much more on worship over here in The Hive, but as I get ready to launch my Journal/Devotional NO FEAR, I want to share with you five worship songs that have helped me through my fear-filled days.
I pray that as you sing to your audience of ONE, the Lord will lift your heart and your spirit as you glorify Him.
1. WHOM SHALL I FEAR? - Chris Tomlin.
“I know who goes before me. - I know who stands behind. - The God of Angel Armies is always by my side. - The One who reigns forever . . . He is a friend of mine.”
Oh friends, hear those words . . . The ONE who reigns forever - the One who created the seas and the sky - the One who gave you breath - the One that caused David to dance and Peter to walk on water - the One who wakes you up every day - the One who is called the Alpha and Omega - the One who is The Lion of Judah - the One who saved you from a dark place - the One who rose from the dead - the One who raised Lazarus, made the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, and the blind to see . . .
The ONE who reigns forever - He is your friend.
So what do you have to fear when the God who did all of those things and infinitely more holds you? The God of the Angel Armies goes before you, stands behind you, and holds you up on either side. (Psalm 5:12)
2. MY HEART WILL TRUST. - Hillsong
If you are in a valley today, I encourage you to worship with this song. I have worshipped and cried out to God more times than I can count with this song behind me.
“Thou I walk through valley’s low. - I will fear no evil. - By the water still my soul. - My heart will trust in you.”
In Psalm 23, David worshipped as he lied down in green pastures beside still waters. He worshipped when the Lord restored his soul. He worshipped when he had everything he could possibly want. He worshipped when he was on the paths of righteousness.
It is easy to worship the Lord in the fruitful seasons beside green pastures and still waters. But,
can you worship when you are in the presence of your enemies? Can you worship through the valley of the shadow of death?
David did . . . and it was in the valley of the shadow of death he sang out “I fear no evil”.
If you re in the valley today, know that through the darkest night, He is holding your hand and guiding your way. Worship yourself out of the valley today and know that goodness and mercy are following you all the days of your life.
3. HERO - Catherine Mullins
Give it all up. - Give it all up now. - Let it all go. - Let it all go now. - Lay it all down. - Lay it all down now to Jesus.
Your fear - Give it all up now.
Your fear - Let it all go.
Your fear - Lay it all down now to Jesus.
4. PRAISE THE LORD - The Imperials.
I am taking you back now to the early 80s. I remember when I was a little girl, my parents would play this song throughout the house. It got deep into my spirit as a young worshipper and has guided me through many fear-filled situations.
“When you're up against a struggle that shatters all your dreams - And your hopes have been cruelly crushed by Satan's manifested schemes. - And you feel the urge within you to submit to earthly fears - Don't let the faith you're standing in, seem to disappear. .. Praise the Lord”
5. HOLY - Donnie McClurkin.
Sometimes, in the middle of our fear, we need to get our eyes off of ourselves and to the God who called us to live fearless. He is Holy. He is worthy of glory. He is worthy of all praise. He is our Deliverer, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Friend. This Holy God has told you to FEAR NOT . . . This HOLY GOD is with you always.
I hope these songs encourage you to worship to your audience of ONE. As you lift Him up . . . He lifts you up, out of the fear, and into His peace. The Lord came to “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
I pray that through these songs and through your worship, fear and heaviness have disappeared from your shoulders and your are wearing beautiful garments of praise.
If you are interested in learning more about my new devotional NO FEAR, click here.